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Out of the Frying Pan

For the folks who like to plan ahead, our
Thanksgiving Dinner Countdown Checklist

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Last-Minute Thanksgiving Survival List

Wednesday Night:

Get a head count. Call everyone and confirm. Don't forget to ask about dietary quirks (so you'll leave some stuffing out of the bird for the vegetarians, etc.). While you're at it...
Get everyone to bring something. You can go two routes here. Either you make the bird and they bring everything else or you make the food and they bring drinks and dessert. Either way, there shouldn't be any whining because the other stuff is easy and abundantly available this time of year.

Whatever your plan, tell everyone to bring a bottle of wine or a six-pack. If you're just making a bird, then assign (nix the duplicates if you're having a small crowd):

mashed potatoes
mashed potatoes

Make your grocery list.
Clean out your fridge. You'll need room for groceries tonight and beer tomorrow.
Hit the store ASAP. DO NOT BUY A FROZEN TURKEY. IT WILL NOT THAW IN TIME. It might seem like it wil, but it just won't. Even if you leave it out overnight and court samonella, it'll still be frozen in the morning. Don't learn this the hard way. Buy a fresh one. And don't forget:

a disposable aluminium roasting pan, plus any other disposable pans you might need (your grocery store will have one for every occasion
one of those roasting bags, if you really want to minimized cleanup
napkins or paper towels
ziplock bags or disposable containers to send home/pack up leftovers
cheese and crackers, chips and dip, or some yummy prepared appetizer to keep everyone quiet if you're running late
aspirin and Alka-Seltzer
desserts (2). It's way easier to buy them than make them.
flowers (you'll look fancy)

Count your chairs! If you don't have enough seating, have guests bring extras.
Pick up the house

Thanksgiving Day

Make your bed. That's where the coats will go.
Set the table or buffet before you start cooking. Put out glasses, napkins, silverware, etc. Make space for people to put their wine and any dishes they bring. You'll thank yourself later.
PREHEAT THE OVEN. Everyone has a Thanksgiving story about forgetting to turn on the oven.
Put out the snack food. It will keep everyone from hovering around you whining "When do we eat?"
Start the turkey
Start the sides. Peel potatoes, prep vegetables, assemble casserolesDrink plenty of beer or wine as necessary to prevent stress
Take out the turkey. While it's resting, pop in the rolls, mash the potatoes, and take care of any last-minute stuff.



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